Lib Dem vision for world-class early years education system

Today, Lib Dem leader & Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, set out the Liberal Democrat vision for a world-class early years education system.

In a speech to the Pre-School Learning Alliance, Nick outlined Liberal Democrat plans to provide 15 hours a week of free childcare to all children of working parents aged between 9 months and two years.

This would save the average family £2,670 over the course of a year.

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Mary Varrall campaigns against prostate cancer

Mary Varrall says ‘Help with debt is available’

Mary Varrall selected to fight for Tonbridge and Malling

Tonbridge and Malling Liberal Democrats are proud to announce that they have selected Mary Varrall as their parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Tonbridge and Malling.

Mary has lived on the border of Kent and Sussex with her husband for over thirty years.  A graduate of the University of Greenwich (Hadlow College) her subsequent work as a Garden Designer and Consultant has brought her numerous clients in West Kent and together with it an appreciation of its landscape and inhabitants.

She has always played an active part in her local community and has been instrumental in bringing improvements there.

As a Parish Councillor for almost 20 years and an active Liberal Democrat she has gained plenty of experience of government and public services at most levels.

Passionate about the countryside, Mary understands the threat of overdevelopment balanced against the need for more affordable homes, better public transport and improved communication routes .  The preservation of local schools and health services for both young and old are always of concern and Mary relishes the challenge of campaigning on all of these issues for Tonbridge and Malling.

Tonbridge and Malling Liberal Democrats Constituency Chairman, Cllr. David Thornewell, has welcomed Mary's selection as a Parliamentary candidate and has said, 'It is great to put forward someone who is not a professional politician. I am looking forward to Mary making great inroads into the Tonbridge and Malling vote and presenting an opportunity for our electorate to vote for sensible policies.

Mary can be contacted by e-mailing her at [email protected]

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Fight to Protect Community Wardens – Half Due to be Axed across Kent

Community wardens across Kent are to be slashed by half as part of a cost-cutting drive by Kent County Council. The cuts, which will see these much-valued local workers reduced from 79 to 40, are part of an attempt by the Conservative-run council to trim £1m from its budget.

petition has been launched to save wardens in and around Maidstone after Liberal Democrats warned that many vulnerable people, young and old, would be put at risk from the cuts while crime would rise.


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The basic state pensions will rise by at least £2.85 a week thanks to the Liberal Democrats triple lock. It means 262,306 pensioners in Kent will benefit from an increase in their pension.

This rise will bring the level of the state pension to at least £115.95 and will benefit millions of pensioners across the UK. This is £18.30 more, each week, than in 2010 when the Liberal Democrats entered coalition. This means pensioners on the full basic state pension are £950 a year better off than they were under Labour.

The triple lock delivers a pension rise of whichever is the greater of average earnings, inflation or 2.5%, meaning pensioners across South East will see more money in their pockets.

The Liberal Democrats campaigned for it in opposition, have delivered it in Government and have pledged to write it into law in the next Parliament.


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Nurseries, childminders and other early years providers in Kent are set for a £1,134, 861 cash injection to help three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.

Children from low-income families have often fallen behind better off classmates before they even start school.​

But from April 2015 the Early Years Pupil Premium - which has been backed by groups like Barnados, 4Children and the Child Poverty Action Group - will mean extra money to make sure every child gets a fair start.

Tonbridge and Malling Liberal Democrats, warmly welcomed the news.


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Local Lib Dems support lowered voting age

Kent County Council is to formally write to the Prime Minister requesting that the voting age be lowered to 16, following a motion raised at Kent County Council today by Liberal Democrat Councillors Brian Clark (Maidstone South) and Rob Bird (Maidstone Central).

Proposing, Cllr Clark stated, "Following the recent referendum for Scottish independence where 16 was the minimum voting age, I am bringing this motion to county to open the debate more widely on the right for individuals to vote at 16 (a move which would affect more than 1.5 million teenagers in the UK)."

He mentioned that all political parties reach out to the elusive "young vote" only to ultimately find swathes of these younger voters "unmoved, unengaged and unreachable."

Central to the debate was the fact that 16 year olds can sign up to join the armed forces, legally marry and have children, pay taxes and national insurance or legally set up a company, but cannot vote in UK elections.

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Get Stuffed!

Local people are urged to come to the Liberal Democrat office in Maidstone to help stuff thousands of letters for the Rochester and Strood by-election.

The by-election, caused by a row within the Conservative Party when hard-right MP Mark Reckless defected to UKIP, will be held next month.

People from across Kent are urged to help at 23 Union Street Maidstone from Sunday through to next Friday.

“The Conservatives have forced an expensive and wasteful by-election on us just six months before a general election due to their squabble with UKIP,” says Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Maidstone Jasper Gerard. “As the Tories and UKIP try to outdo each other in a contest to see who can sound the most right wing, it is vital we get across the Liberal Democrat voice of sanity and moderation.”

To help please contact Rochelle Harris on [email protected]

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